January 4, 2020 by Mike Madden
NFL Week 17
So we are down to the last 12, with the Patriots having a shocker to drop to the number 3 seed. Elsewhere the Browns imploded again, and the Packers overcame a slow start to earn a bye week.
So what happened last week?
Predictions were 8-8 in what is traditionally the hardest week of the season to predict.
Browns 23 Bengals 33
Happy farewell to Dalton, but many more farewells expected for the underwhelming Browns.
Dolphins 27 Patriots 24
Absolute shocker for the Patriots and all of a sudden the Dolphins are world beaters. The Patriots won’t even be looking forward to the visit of Tennessee.
Bears 21 Vikings 19
Vikings will not be too upset by this but it is still back to back home defeats – not ideal preparation for a trip to New Orleans.
Chargers 21 Chiefs 31
Chiefs not exactly setting the league on fire but just doing enough – and a bye week will be to their advantage.
Jets 13 Bills 6
Jets end the season on a high. Bills get some rest but will still have it tough in the play offs.
Packers 23 Lions 20
The Packers don’t seem to like making things easy and this was no exception, but they have the number 2 seed and at least one play off game at home.
Saints 42 Panthers 10
Saints have momentum and could still go all the way though they wont look forward to a potential trip to Green Bay next week.
Falcons 28 Buccaneers 22
Falcons finished strongly and both teams have something to build on next season.
Eagles 34 Giants 17
Eagles did what they needed to do to get the play off spot and a home tie. But that is where it will probably end.
Titans 35 Texans 14
Titans steamroller their way in to the play offs – Texans already there and locked in to number 4.
Redskins 16 Cowboys 47
Even though their season was already over the Redskins should be alarmed at this defeat. The Cowboys have a lot of hard thinking to do.
Steelers 10 Ravens 28
Comfortable for the Ravens, even with their back ups. Steelers have off season questions to answer.
Colts 20 Jaguars 38
Shocker for the Colts who have ended the season in disarray. Jaguars went through most of the season in disarray but got a win that might cheer them a little.
Raiders 15 Broncos 16
Raiders needed a win to have any hope but could not even pull that off. Broncos will be more confident about next season.
Cardinals 24 Rams 31
Rams notch up a meaningless win and it will be the Cardinals who can be expected to improve next year.
49ers 26 Seahawks 21
Seahawks should have won it but an amazing goal line stand showed that the 49ers D should not be underestimated.
Wildcard Weekend preview
It is still my opinion that you can’t win the Superbowl without an elite QB (Nick Foles being the exception), although an elite D will certainly help. So I have eliminated Tennessee, Buffalo, Houston, Philadelphia and Minnesota without too much fuss.
Im still not convinced by Jackson or Garoppolo – Baltimore and San Francisco will have to rely on their Ds, so I am going to eliminate those teams too.
The Patriots have been written off too many times to completely discount, and Brady is definitely elite, but is he on the wane? Rodgers has also had his doubters, but the strength of the Packers running game is a huge factor in his reduced numbers. The Saints, behind Brees, and with a shut down D (certainly in terms of the run) would have been a near certainty for the Superbowl except that they will have to go through Green Bay. Mahomes is not yet elite though has certainly got that potential, but his D will have to step up, and although I consider Wilson to be elite the Seahawks D is even worse!
Bills at Texans
Texans by 10
Texans get an early lead and the Bills cannot come back.
Titans at Patriots
Patriots by 14
Patriots start to click at home, but the doubts will still remain.
Vikings at Saints
Saints by 17
Saints shut down Cook who will probably not be fully fit. Brees finds his receivers and Thomas and Kamara have another big day.
Seahawks at Eagles
Seahawks by 7
Eagles have already reached their Superbowl and injuries take their toll as Wilson drags the Seahawks into the Divisional round, and a revenge match up with San Francisco.
Of my 6 AFC predictions 5 were correct – I just underestimated the Tannehill effect in Tennessee. I also thought the Patriots would get the bye rather than the Ravens.
In the NFC the 49ers goal line stand proved to be crucial and flipped the wildcard from San Francisco to Seattle. I also missed out on the NFC East thanks to the Cowboys’ ineptitude.
Ravens beat Bills
Texans beat Colts
Seahawks beat Vikings
49ers beat Cowboys
Divisional Play Offs
Patriots beat Texans
Chiefs beat Ravens
Packers beat 49ers
Saints beat Seahawks
Chiefs beat Patriots
Packers beat Saints
Packers beat Chiefs